Starting a new business can be a daunting task. There are so many details to think of and so many tasks to undertake even before you’re in a position to be ready to trade. Once the proverbial doors of your business open, however, attracting customers and letting people know about what you are offering is a must.
That’s where a good PR and marketing strategy comes in. As a PR agency owner for almost ten years in both the UK and the US I know only too well how powerful PR and marketing done in the right way can be. A few select articles in the right publications can mean instant sales and immediate recognition for your new business. If you have an investor or a real PR and marketing budget then, of course, you’re in the lucky position to hire a great PR agency and they can do the work for you – a good PR agency is worth its weight in gold. But if you’re a small start-up without that kind of budget, there are still key things you can do to generate a media buzz on your own.
1. Let Press Know Who You Are
Editors and journalists are always looking for tips on what’s new on the scene – this is why most local papers and magazines have a “news desk”. Announcing your arrival on the local scene is a perfect way to have potential customers take notice, and as you are something new, it’s very likely that editors will want to let their readership know about you. Simply put together an eye-catching press release about your new product or service, include some exciting images, select an enticing title and email your release to the relevant editors. This is the perfect way to kick off any new business and is a free and sure fire way of alerting your local customer base to what you are offering.
2. Offer Something for Free
Whatever your product or service, it’s always a great idea to let editors, journalists and bloggers see and try it for themselves. When they love something that they have tried, they will write about it. Perhaps you have a new clothing line and could send out a trendy new piece to a select number of fashion editors? Maybe you have opened a new spa and want your local health and beauty editor to try your signature treatment? Never underestimate the power of the free gift where PR is concerned – it could land you that one article in a key title that could see your sales soar.
3. Keep an Eye on Daily Stories and Trends
Editors are always jumping on stories that are timely and “of the moment”. You should always, therefore, be keeping an eye on what’s happening in the news, and see how you and your business can fit into current news stories. For example, is your tech gadget the answer to a problem that someone in the public eye has admitted to having? Does your beauty product solve the problem that a lot of women bemoan? Think about how stories that come up in the news can somehow be linked to your product or service and write a press release about it that day. If you send it out to the relevant editors in good time, someone is very likely to pick up on it and voila, you have your business name in print.
4. Establish Yourself as an Expert in your Field
Establishing yourself as an expert in a particular field can be a fantastic way of standing out to local and national editors and encouraging them to come to you for expertise when needed. For example, we recently had a client who owns a Carnaby Street vintage store so we simply positioned her as a “vintage expert”, which led to her styling the cast of a well-known TV show for a high-circulation weekend supplement and commenting within other vintage features. This meant wonderful coverage for her boutique and got her name “out there” within her field – vintage. Perhaps you are an expert in menswear, or street wear? Perhaps you know all about natural food and how it can benefit the body in different ways?
Find your niche and use it to your advantage. Editors want to make their lives easier, and if they know your niche, they WILL come to you when they are working on something relevant.
Article by Cleo Anderson, CEO and Founder of The Anderson Media Group, an award winning PR agency based in London and LA that specialises in media coverage, media events, celebrity endorsement and product placement. For more information on what the agency offers visit www.theandersonmediagroup.com